Sammy Davis Jr. – Closest Of Friends (1982)

FrontCover1Sammy Davis Jr. goes Country:

In 1982, Sammy Davis, Jr. made the musical move to Nashville. Perhaps the last place you would expect the diminutive wonder to turn up, but he cut ten songs there for the Applause label and the Closest of Friends album was the result. The songs assembled for Davis to sing come from some of the finest writers the town had to offer (“Oh Lonesome Me” by Don Gibson, “Come Sundown” and “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” by Kris Kristofferson, “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)” by Tex Williams and Merle Travis) and while the aging Sammy did what he could vocally, the wooden arrangements and pedestrian playing really bring the album down. The best of the songs, like Sammy’s light bounce through “Hey, Won’t You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song)” and his knowing take on “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)” (which contains the cruelly foreshadowing lyric “I’ve smoked ’em all my life and I ain’t dead yet”) are miles away from his best work and have only the slightest glimmer of what made Davis so spectacular in his prime. Only a true Davis fanatic would ever want to hear these songs. It was one of his last forays into a recording studio and should probably just be forgotten. Unfortunately, it is one of the few Davis sessions that turns up time and time again on cheap reissue labels, often with mis-leading titles and cover shots. (by Tim Sendra)

But:

You normally wouldn’t think of Country music and Sammy Davis Jr going together, but they do! As a long time country fan, I recommend this album. He does justice to the fine selection of songs and actually went on Hee Haw to promote it! Jimmy Capps of the Grand Ole Opry staff band plays guitar along with Billy Sanford. The album was produced by Larry Butler. (by Hank Will)

This is a very sentimental trip … including two songs by the great Kris Kristofferson !

Alternate front+back cover from Venezuela:
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Personnel:
Larry Butler (piano)
James Capps (guitar)
Jerry Carrigan (drums)
Steve Chapman (guitar)
Sammy Davis Jr. (vocals)
Ray Edenton (guitar)
Bob Moore (bass)
Leon Rhodes (bass)
Hargus Robbins (piano)
Billy Sanford (guitar)
Jerry Shook (guitar)
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Sheldon Kurland Strings
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background vocals:
James Cason – Don Gant – Diane Fidwell – Bergen White – Lisa Silver – Sheryln Hoffman

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Tracklist:
01. What I’ve Got In Mind (O´Dell) 2.49
02. Come Sundown (Kristofferson) 3.24
03. Mention A Mansion (Hupp/Morrison) 2.22
04. You’re Gonna Love Yourself (In The Morning) (Fritts) 3.07
05. Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) (Travis/Williams) 3.03
06. Oh Lonesome Me (Gibson) 2.24
07. We Could Have Been Closest Of Friends (Pippin/Slade) 3.15
08. Hey Won’t You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song) (Butler/Moman) 3.22
09. Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends (Kristofferson) 3.26
10. The River’s Too Wide (Morrison) 2.43

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This is another item from the great greygoose record collection.
Thanks a lot !

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Various Artists – Smoky Mountain Ballads (1976)

FrontCover1Let´s take a look to the roots of American Music.

In 1941. Smoky Mountain Ballads, a set of 78s selected and annotated with autobiographical notes by John A. Lomax, is published by RCA Victor. The album includes the Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, and the Monroe Brothers singing such songs as “East Virginia Blues,” “Worried Man Blues,” “Down in the Willow Garden,” and “Darling Corey,” which later became staples of the folk revival repertoire.

And we will hear Ballads from the Smoky Mountains:

The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains and the name is commonly shortened to the Smokies. The Great Smokies are best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which protects most of the range. The park was established in 1934, and, with over 9 million visits per year, it is the most-visited national park in the United States.

The Great Smokies are part of an International Biosphere Reserve. The range is home to an estimated 187,000 acres (76,000 ha) of old growth forest, constituting the largest such stand east of the Mississippi River. The cove hardwood forests in the range’s lower elevations are among the most diverse ecosystems in North America, and the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest that coats the range’s upper elevations is the largest of its kind. The Great Smokies are also home to the densest black bear population in the Eastern United States and the most diverse salamander population outside of the tropics.[

SmokyMountains

Along with the Biosphere reserve, the Great Smokies have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The U.S. National Park Service preserves and maintains 78 structures within the national park that were once part of the numerous small Appalachian communities scattered throughout the range’s river valleys and coves. The park contains five historic districts and nine individual listings on the National Register of Historic Places.

The name “Smoky” comes from the natural fog that often hangs over the range and presents as large smoke plumes from a distance. This fog is caused by the vegetation exhaling volatile organic compounds, chemicals that have a high vapor pressure and easily form vapors at normal temperature and pressure.
As a result of the 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, the Great Smoky Mountains have received international media coverage. (by wikipedia)

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Ballads from Smoky Mountains means Country,  Folk and Bluesgrass.songs.

And I´m impressed by the music, because the Music still sounds fresh and vital.

Listen to Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time In Cheatham County  … this could be a Ray Davies tune from the Sixties !

This is a very nice little collection of old Hillbilly folk tunes. Sounds like they are just recordings of old 78’s, but sound quality is as good as can be expected. (SchizoMelodies)

 

These recordings were originally released by RCA Victor in 1964 und a few Songs from this LP were re-released by Pickwick Records in 1976 …

Let´s discover this old fashioned music …

UncleDaveMaconUncle Dave Macon

Tracklist:
01. Uncle Dave Macon:  Cumberland Mountain Deer Race (Harris) 2.49
02. Wade Mainer, Zeke Morris & Steve Ledford: Riding On That Train Fourty-Five (Morris) 2.33
03. Dixon Bros.: Down With The Old Canoe (D.Dixon/H.Dixon) 2.51
04. Arthur Smith Trio: Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time In Cheatham County  (Arthur Smith Trio) 2.32
05. Monroe Bros.:  Where Is My Sailor Boy? (C.Monroe) 2.43
06. Carter Family:  Worried Man Blues (A.P.Carter) 2.46
07. J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers:  On A Cold Winter Night (Mainer) 3.00
08. Uncle Dave Macon:  Railroadin’ And Gamblin’ (Macon) 2.39
09. Gid Tanner And His Skillet Lickers: Ida Red (unknown) 2.51

 

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Jim Baker – A Steel Guitar Christmas (1975)

frontcover1Baker was born July 26, 1933 in Eldridge, Ala. and grew up in Flint, Mich. He moved to Nashville in 1963 after serving in the U.S. Army. Baker was a steel guitar player as a youth and later played Dobro and pedal steel guitar in Nashville. He played the Grand Ole Opry throughout the early part of his career and was a member of the Mel Tillis Statesiders Band in the early 1970s. He played on numerous country albums and was in steady demand as a steel session player. Ernie Ashworth, Mel Tillis, Jim and Jessie, Bill Carlisle, Roy Drusky, Justin Tubb and Leroy Van Dyke were among the artists Baker played with.

Pedal steel player Jim Baker, 75, who played on the Grand Ole Opry and with Mel Tillis’ band died Oct. 5.2008 (by countrystandardtime.com)

This is his christmas album and this will be the last entry of christmas music this year !

Enjoy the beautiful sound of the steel-guitar !

jim-baker

Personnel:
Kim Baker (steel-guitar)

backcover

Tracklist:
01. White Christmas 2.15
02. Winter Wonderland 2.15
03. Blue Christmas 2.21
04. Christmas Song 2.03
05. Little Drummer Boy 2.00
06. O’ Little Town Of Bethlehem 2.49
07. Silver Bells 2.48
08. Silent Night 2.01
09. Christmas In My Hometown 2.00
10. Jingle Bell Rock 1.54
11. Here Comes Santa Clause 2.15
12. Rock Around The Christmas Tree 2.42

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Jann Browne – Count Me In (1995)

FrontCöver1Jann Browne (born March 14, 1954 in Anderson, Indiana) is an American country singer. She moved to South California in 1978 where she performed in a number of Orange County country bars.  From 1981 through 1983, before her solo career, she was a vocalist with the Western swing group Asleep at the Wheel. She has recorded four studio albums, and has charted three singles on the Hot Country Songs charts. Her highest single is the 1990s “Tell Me Why” at No. 18. She was named “Female Entertainer of the Year”, and her song “Louisville” was named “Song of the Year”, by the California Country Music Association. (by wikipedia)

Nine years ago when I bought this CD, I was disappointed and did not play it very much. But today I decided to play it again and see what I think. I am pleasantly surprized – I do not know what I was thinking of 9 years ago, but I really like it now. It could have been that since it did not come up to the high standard of Jann’s earlier releases – TELL ME WHY and IT ONLY HURTS WHEN I LAUGH – I wrote it off as a loser. I have completely changed my mind now.

JannBrowne01I think anyone who really likes Jann Browne will like this album, and I am now going to start playing it more. I see that some marketplace sellers have the album in the $6 range. If I did not already own it, I would pick it up in a second at this price.

Jann Browne is a fantastic traditional country artist, who never did get the credit she deserved. Part of the problem was the fact that when she came out with her music, Nashville wanted a more “Pop” sound, and Jann refused to change her style just to sell records. (by H. G. Milton)

This is Jann Browne’s least country-sounding record yet. Browne’s new record is still more country than a lot of what comes out of Music Row nowadays, but without neo-trad producer Steve Fishell behind the boards this time, Dennis Caplinger and Browne produced a record whose sound is always tasteful, but rarely engaging. While her first two albums supplemented her own songs with a healthy amount of well-chosen covers, Browne wrote or co-wrote every one of the 12 songs here, all of which are fine examples of neo-trad ’90’s country that could stand to dig a little deeper. It’s easy to admire Browne’s new songs – all are well-constructed and intelligently written .

JannBrowne02

It’s also too easy to remain emotionally detached from them. Her vocals are as strong as ever (try imagining Emmylou Harris with a little more twang), and while a fair amount of the country grit has been washed from her sound, the accompaniment provides more than adequate support for the songs. They, however, contain too many generic rock gestures (“Hearts on the Blue Train,” “Ain’t No Promise” and the title track) and not enough of the deeply-felt honky-tonk soul that’s powered Browne’s best music. (by Don Yates)

AlternateFrontCovers

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Personnel:
Matthew Barnes (guitar, background vocals)
Jann Browne (vocals)
Dennis Caplinger (guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, viola, weissenborn)
Frank Cotinola (drums)
Chris Gaffney (accordion)
Pat Gallagher (acoustic guitar)
Rick MacDonald (guitar, penny whistle)
Jay Dee Maness (pedal steel guitar)
Wyman Reese (organ)
Keith Rosier (guitarron, bass)
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background vocals:
Rosie Flores – Herb Pedersen – Roger Stebner

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Hearts On The Blue Train (Browne) 4.03
02. Ain’t No Promise (In The Promised Land) (Browne/Barnes) 4.00
03. I Have No Witness (Browne/Barnes) 5.27
04. Trouble’s Here (Browne) 3.05
05. Red Moon Over Lugano (Browne) 4.57
06. One Tired Man (Browne/Barnes) 5.09
07. Dear Loretta (Browne/Gallagher) 4.00
08. Count Me In (Browne/Barnes) 4.27
09. Baby Goodbye (Browne/Gallagher) 4.50
10. Long Time Gone (Browne/Barnes) 3.43
11. When The Darkest Hours Pass (Browne/Gallagher) 3.43
12. White Roses (Browne/Gallagher) 4.06

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Johnny Cash – Orange Blossom Special (1965)

FrontCover1Orange Blossom Special is the 21st album released by musician Johnny Cash on Columbia Records in 1965. The recordings include country and folk standards, such as “The Long Black Veil”, “When It’s Springtime in Alaska”, “Danny Boy” and “Wildwood Flower”.

The song that gave the title to the album was “Orange Blossom Special”, released previous to the album, it became a success. At the time it was recorded, the authorship of the song was not widely known, being commonly covered by diverse artists. Cash learned from Maybelle Carter that the song was written by Ervin T. Rouse, who Cash later met during a show in Miami, Florida. Cash’s recording is unusual in his repertoire for featuring a tenor saxophone solo by Boots Randolph, an instrument (and musician) rarely spotlighted on Cash’s recordings.

The album also contains three covers of Bob Dylan songs, that he gave Cash after a concert in Newport, Rhode Island. “It Ain’t Me Babe”, “Don’t Think Twice, it’s Alright” and “Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind”. The last one was only recorded by Dylan as a demo, but it was first released in an album by Cash. Cash had previously borrowed the melody of “Don’t Think Twice” for his recording “Understand Your Man.”

Released on February 1965, the album reached number three in Billboard’s Country albums as well as forty-nine in pop albums respectively. The single “Orange Blossom Special” peaked number three on Billboards Hot Country Singles and the duet with June Carter “It Ain’t Me Babe” peaked number four in Hot Country Singles.

JohnnyCash1965_01

Following the recording of the concept album Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian, Cash recorded ‘Orange Blossom Special’ between August 27 and December 20, 1964. The recordings included a series of country and folk standards such as Lefty Frizzell’s, “The Long Black Veil”, Tillman Franks’ “When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)”, A.P. Carter’s “Wildwood Flower”, Jester Hairston’s “Amen”, and Frederick Weatherly’s Danny Boy.

Due to the acclaim that the cover of the song “Orange Blossom Special” received from the audiences that attended live concerts of Cash, a single of the song was released previous to the album, in February 1965 reaching number three in the Billboard singles.[3] During the mid 1960s, the authorship of the song was not widely known. Cash asked Maybelle Carter during the recording session about the original author, Carter stated that the song was written by Ervin T. Rouse and his brother Gordon. Carter also told Cash that the songwriter resided in Florida. Cash called Florida disk jockey Jim Brooker, who told him that he lived with the seminoles on the Everglades. In order to locate him, Brooker announced on air during his radio show, that if Rouse was listening to call the station to give him the phone number of Cash. Rouse called the station and contacted Cash who told him that he would be soon in Miami, Florida for a scheduled concert.

JohnnyCashInTheStudio

During an intermission of the show in Miami, a man approached Cash backstage claiming to be Ervin Rouse. Cash recalled hearing the name but he could not remember who Rouse was. After clarifying that he had written a few songs, he remarked that one he co-wrote with his brother, named “The Special”, was particularly successful. Cash recognized that he was talking about Orange Blossom Special. Cash believed the man, who actually was Rouse, that he had traveled from his house in the everglades in a custom-made swamp buggy to the house of his sister in Miami, where he borrowed her bicycle to ride ten miles to be at the concert. Cash invited the man to perform the song with him in the concert, receiving the acclaim of the audience. Later Rouse stated: “The Special belongs to everybody by now, I guess, but it used to be my best number”[3][5][6] Cash’s back-cover album notes for Orange Blossom Special are devoted to describing his meeting with Rouse.

Complementary to the standards, the album also featured covers of Bob Dylan. Cash had met Dylan briefly backstage during one of his performances at The Gaslight Cafe, but they talked extensively after a show in Newport, Rhode Island. Cash and Dylan traded songs in a motel, where Joan Baez wrote for Cash the lyrics of “It Ain’t Me Babe” and “Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind”. The first song was originally released in Dylan’s Another Side of Bob Dylan, but the second was only recorded as a demo by Dylan. In addition “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” was included. To publicize both of their artists, Columbia Records released the single “It Ain’t Me Babe” with the liner: “A new song from Bob Dylan on a new single sung by Johnny Cash”.

The album was released on February 1965, it reached number three in Billboard’s Country albums and forty-nine in pop albums respectively. The single “Orange Blossom Special” peaked number three on Billboards Hot Country Singles as well as eighty in the Hot 100. The duet with June Carter “It Ain’t Me Babe” peaked number four in Hot Country Singles and number fifty-eight in the Hot 100.

JohnnyCash1965_02

Billboard wrote: “Cash is in fine form here and he has been coupled with a great selection of material. Cash displays a sense of drama and wit”.[10] Meanwhile, Western Folklore also praised the album as well as the recognition of the original author of the title song: “Johnny Cash offers an interesting collection of songs, partially reflecting the Folk Song Revival’s influence, in Orange Blossom Special. While the album is good, the notes are even better for they give information previously unreported on the title tune of the album and its credited composer, Ervin Rouse.” AllMusic later wrote about the album: “Even if the best and most popular of the songs on this 1965 album are the ones most likely to show up on greatest-hits compilations, it certainly rates as one of Cash’s finer non-greatest-hits releases”.

The song “Orange Blossom Special” later became a regular part of Cash’s concerts, with Cash performing both harmonica parts himself, usually with a dual-harmonica technique. During a performance included on his At Folsom Prison live album, Cash jokes that the song requires him to “change harmonicas faster than kiss[ing] a duck”. (by wikipedia)

Single

Personnel:
Norman Blake (guitar)
June Carter (vocals)
Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar)
Ray Edenton (guitar)
Karl Garvin (trumpet)
Marshall Grant (bass)
W.S. Holland (drums)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Bill McElhiney (trumpet)
Luther Perkins (guitar)
Bill Pursell (piano)
Boots Randolph (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Orange Blossom Special (E.Rouse/G.Rouse) 3.06
02. The Long Black Veil (Wilkin/Dill) 3.06
03. It Ain’t Me Babe (Dylan) 3.03
04. The Wall (Howard) 2.09
05. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Dylan) 2.56
06. You Wild Colorado (Cash) 1.45
07. Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind (Dylan) 3.02
08. When It’s Springtime In Alaska (Franks) 2.36
09. All Of God’s Children Ain’t Free (Cash) 2.11
10. Danny Boy (Weatherly) 5.08
11. Wildwood Flower (Carter) 2.10
12. Amen (Hairston) 2.05
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13. Engine 143 (mono version) (Traditional) 3.31
14. (I’m Proud) The Baby Is Mine (Cash) 2.30
15. Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind (earlier version) (Dylan) 2.54

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Johnny Cash – The Christmas Collection (2003)

FrontCover1No matter what genre or style he chose to tackle, everything Johnny Cash recorded in his long career came out sounding like, well, Johnny Cash. That’s a good thing. With Cash, you knew what you were getting. This 20-song anthology collects some of the holiday tracks he did for Columbia Records over the years, and not surprisingly, it sounds like Johnny Cash singing Christmas songs and reciting holiday-themed poems. Again, that’s a good thing. Highlights include a nice version of “Blue Christmas” and a wonderfully balanced and soothing take on “Silent Night,” although everything here has that Johnny Cash essence. That’s a good thing. ( by Steve Leggett)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Blue Christmas (Hayes/Johnson) 2.22
02. The Little Drummer Boy (Simone/Onorati/Davis) 2.32
03. The Christmas Spirit (Album Version) (Cash) 5-00
04. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day (Longfellow/Marks) 2.28
05. Away In A Manger (Walker/J.Cash) 3.06
06. Joy To The World (Walker/Händel/Watts) 2.06
07. Silent Night (Album Version) (Gruber/Mohr) 3:26
08. Christmas As I Knew It (Howard/J.Cash) 3.39
09. Ringing The Bells For Jim (Album Version) (Howard/Carter) 2.45
10. Here Was A Man (Album Version) (Bond/Ritter) 2.40
11. The Gifts They Gave (Album Version) (Cash) 3.30
12. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Album Version) (Sears/Willis) 3.38
13. O Come All Ye Faithful  (Walker/Oakeley/Reading) 2.57
14. Little Gray Donkey (Tazewell/Wagner) 4.41
15. The Christmas Guest (Album Version) (Grandpa Jones/Walker) 4.37
16. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Walker/Wesley/Mendelssohn) 2.30
17. The Ballad Of The Harp Weaver (Album Version) (Millay) 4.21
18. Who Kept The Sheep (Album Version) (Carter/Cash 1.55
19. (There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me) (Album Version) (Dorsey) 2.47
20. That Christmasy Feeling (Peppers/Cash) 2.13

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Johnny Cash – Hymns By Johnny Cash (1959)

FrontCover1Hymns by Johnny Cash was the fifth album and first gospel album of Johnny Cash. The album was produced in 1958 and was then officially released in 1959. An alternate version of the song “It was Jesus” was an added bonus track after the album was re-issued in 2002. Cash left Sun Records because Sam Phillips wouldn’t let him record the gospel songs he’d grown up with. Columbia promised him to release an occasional gospel album; this was a success for him to record. The album was Cash’s first and most popular gospel album, and is an example of traditional hymns set to country gospel music. The album was recorded simultaneously with The Fabulous Johnny Cash.

Although Sam Phillips steered Cash away from gospel and sacred music in the mid-’50s at Sun Records, in fact much of what Cash recorded in his early career still had a devout tone, often with piety and imagery that wouldn’t have sounded foreign in a gospel context. So although this 1959 album was entirely devoted to religious songs, it didn’t really sound that different from his prior work, and remains accessible to Cash fans whether or not they’re religious or have an interest in sacred song. The arrangements remain as sparse as most from his 1950s catalog, though stately backup vocals are often present. Too, these aren’t strictly traditional numbers, as Cash writes or co-writes about half the tunes. Sure, “Are All the Children In” skirts bathos with its spoken sections, yet songs like “The Old Account” and “It Was Jesus” have the country-rockabilly bounce characteristic of much of his secular material. In fact, despite its specialized focus, it’s somewhat generic 1950s Cash at a casual listen, though even generic 1950s Cash is good. The CD reissue adds just one bonus track, and a peripheral one at that: a “mono EP version” of “It Was Jesus,” which is lacking the backup vocals found on the LP one. (by Richie Unterberger)

JohnnyCash1959Personnel:
Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar)
Marshall Grant (bass)
Buddy Harman (drums)
Don Helms (steel-guitar)
Marvin Hughes (piano)
Morris Palmer (drums)
Luther Perkins (guitar)
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The Jordanaires (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. It Was Jesus (Cash) 2.08
02. I Saw a Man (Smith) 2.36
03. Are All The Children In (Starrett) 1.58
04. The Old Account (Traditional) 2.29
05. Lead Me Gently Home (Thompson) 2.04
06. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Traditional) 1.56
07. Snow In His Hair (Pack) 2.24
08. Lead Me Father (Cash) 2.31
09. I Call Him (J.Cash/R.Cash) 1.50
10. These Things Shall Pass (Hamblen) 2.20
11. He’ll Be A Friend (Cash) 2.00
12. God Will /Loudermilk/Wilkin) 2.24
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13. It Was Jesus (mono version) (Cash) 2.04

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